I am not a gun smith, or even experienced tinker. I am pretty new at altering firearms from factory configurations, but I had a good time and good experience with this project so I figured I'd share the details.
The gun chosen is a Ruger M77 Mk II in .243W. I always wanted a Ruger project gun since everyone that has "custom guns" start with Remingtons and Savages and the such. It seems I bought it new for a small predator and bou hunting, but like everyone else here, I want more accuracy. I have a load that I like right now, but havent shot anything bigger than paper yet. It isnt my "ideal" round, but it will do for now: 100gr Speer StzBt with a soft point on top of Varget powder. I played with powder charges and seating depts to get the best 100 group of about an inch. The worst group was around 1.5 inches, so it wasnt too bad to begin with. Anyways, on with the bedding.
I didnt cut away any wood prior, or even cut off the finish. I know I probably should have, but I felt it was rough enough already and I am not really set up with gunsmithing tools. Anyways, I took it apart and cleaned any dirt and the such, and taped it off good. I use $1.25 playdough to block off areas i didnt want the glass to run, but I chose the gel (I'll have to post the brand tomorrow) and didnt have a problem with running at all. In fact, a little running might have been more helpful, but this is my first trip so maybe i needed the gel. I built up around the recoil lug and filled in the hole. I didnt track the whole receiver back because, well, I didnt think about it. I was intrested in the front around the recoil lug and the rear of the action. Hind-sight's 20/20 huh? I didnt over-dose the rear because i didnt want it to run out over the stock when I put the receiver back on. I was careful in all areas not to add too much, so I had very little to trim up afterwards. The bedding kit came with a release agent, but I heard a lot of bad stuff like it will cause my metals to rust, so I went with Pam instead. Worked like a champ. I sprayed down the whole action and 6" of the barrel and planted it in the stock. I put all 3 screws back in, but only snugged them up. I checked the barrel for clearance, but it was floated before I ever shot the gun. Theres a little more clearance now, but doesnt look out of place, so all is good. It did take a little while to break it apart because the rubbing while putting it together thinned out the Pam too much and the glass had a bit of a bond with the metal. A few whacks with the rubber mallot and it did come apart. I had one screw try to lock up, but with a little persuasion, I was able to get it out without any damage. I'll add more release agent to the screws next time. I took it apart cleaned everything, checked clearances and over-runs, and all was good. Ugly, but good.
Here a couple pics of the project. I think I will have to bed my .338 next...